As early as 1810, commercial hand embroidery in Plauen was well-known, and in 1828 more than 2,000 people were employed in whitework embroidery. The industrialization of the craft proceeded just as quickly. The first hand embroidery machines in the Vogtland still came from the Alsace and Switzerland, but Theodor Bickel was the first person to successfully produce machine-embroidered tulle lace with satin stitches. In 1883, the first shuttle embroidery machines were set up in Plauen, which enabled the production of real tulle lace. Salesmanship was also not lacking. The registered trademark “Plauener Spitze ®” was introduced and translated melodiously for the world market as “Saxon Lace”, “Plauen Lace” and “Dentelles de Saxe”. Embroidery had its heyday in the Belle Époque, the forty years before World War I, but there are still around 40 mostly small companies operating in the Vogtland.
The history of the Vogtland textile industry, and Plauen lace in particular, has been presented in the 'Factory of Threads' since the end of 2023. On around 1,220 square metres of exhibition space on three levels in a town palace-like former manufactory building, the 'Weisbachschen Haus', visitors can experience the many facets of the Vogtland textile industry with all its highlights, but also its dark sides. In addition to exhibits from the museum's rich collection, the thematic diversity is also presented through numerous interactive stations. Playful elements and effective room displays round off the presentation.
The Plauen Lace embroidery (Obstgartenweg 1, 08523 Plauen) demonstration workshop is also recommended, where, in an authentic atmosphere, visitors have an overview of the sophistication of the artistic designs and technology – and can also get creative themselves.